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Ring camera hacked in Cape Coral, devices connected to internet vulnerable

From a phone or a computer, people can keep tabs on their home with cameras. And millions say it’s giving them peace of mind. But, now, some say those cameras are giving them feelings of vulnerability.

At least three reported Ring camera hacks have occurred in the past week nationwide, including one in Cape Coral.

Those with home security camera connected to the internet could be vulnerable to a hacker. Hackers are reportedly gaining access to these types of home security devices homeowners depend on to provide added safety and security.

Josefine Brown in Cape Coral showed us a recording of a hacker spewing hateful racial slurs and threatening her with loud alarms.

“What’s going on my main man, Shaq?” an accused hacker is heard in the recording.

“I was very scared,” Brown said. “I wondered has he been watching us in the past.”

In Mississippi, a hacker was able to talk to an 8-year-old girl in her room.

“I’m Santa Claus,” an accused hacker is heard in the recording. “Don’t you want to be my best friend?”

And a Georgia woman in her bedroom was yelled at by another hacker who accessed her Ring camera.

“I can see you in bed,” an accused hacker is heard in the recording.

John Benkert is the senior vice president of Cigent, a cybersecurity company based in Fort Myers. He said devices that access the internet are vulnerable to these types of situations.

“Every connected device you have in your home should be a concern,” Benkert said

Benkert said homeowners need to protect any device connected to the internet.

“Change default passwords,” Benkert said. “You want to make sure you are aware of any updates that come out for the piece of hardware. There are always firmware updates. Some devices download them automatically, some don’t. You want to understand that. Watch the news or read and find out when vulnerabilities exist.”

We reached out to Ring, which has become increasingly popular for homeowners and in partnership with local law enforcement agencies. The company told us it can confirm incidents were in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s security.

“Trust is important to us, and we take the security of our devices seriously,” Ring shared with us in a statement. “We have investigated this incident and can confirm it is in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s security.

Meanwhile, Brown said she is not taking any chances.

“I will not turn this Ring back on,” Brown said. “I don’t feel secure with them at all.”

Still, many people are going to want these cameras in their homes. Ring sent a whole list of ways to help prevent cyberattacks:

  • Don’t use the same username and passwords for accounts or subscriptions
  • Add two-factor authentication to accounts
  • Never share passwords; instead, create shared users.
  • Regularly change your passwords

All of the above are things people should be doing for any device connected to the internet.

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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